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The Yaks from Mongolia

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Mongolia Expedition Yak Wildlife

Yak is a close relative of buffalo and bison. Yaks are divided into two species: domestic and wild. These two vary in size and appearance. Wild yaks inhabit alpine meadows and steppes of central Asia. Yaks are very appreciated because of their fur, fatty milk, meat and dung (which is utilized as a fuel). Unfortunately, number of wild yaks is decreased due to habitat loss and extreme hunting. Wild yaks are listed as vulnerable.

The male wild yak can weigh up to 2200 pounds and is 6.5 feet high at the shoulder. Females weigh about a third of that. Their horns can be 20 (females) to 40 (males) inches long and grow out from the sides of the head and curve upward. Their tails are bushy.

Did you know?
– Yak polo, played on yaks instead of horses, was pioneered in Mongolia a decade ago.
– In Mongolia yak milk is fermented in a leather pouch and distilled as a “milk wine” called archi.

Pygmy Marmoset, the smallest monkey in the world!

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Pygmy Marmoset Smallest Monkey Pantanal Amazon Wildlife

The pygmy marmoset is a small New World monkey native to rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in South America. It is famous for being the smallest monkey and one of the smallest primates in the world at just over 3.5 oz. It is commonly found in evergreen and river edge forests and is a gum-feeding specialist.

Most of the pygmy marmoset population live in stable troops of two to nine individuals that includes a dominant male, a breeding female, and up to four successive litters of offspring. They communicate using a complex system including vocal, chemical, and visual signals. The female gives birth to twins twice a year and the parental care is shared among the group.

The Madagascar Hoopoe

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Madagascar Hoopoe bird wildlife

The Madagascar Hoopoe (Upupa epops marginata) is endemic to Madagascar, where it inhabits subtropical or tropical dry forests. It is usually considered a separate species to the Hoopoe due to its vocalisations and small differences in plumage but is otherwise similar to the rest of the species.

The hoopoe is a medium-sized bird, 9.8–12.6 in long, with a 17–19 in wingspan.

The diet of the Hoopoe is principally composed of insects, although small reptiles, frogs and plant matter such as seeds and berries are sometimes taken as well. It is a solitary forager which typically feeds on the ground.

The Green Anaconda of South America!

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Green Anaconda South America Wildlife Pantanal

The green anaconda, also known as the common anaconda and water boa, is a non-venomous boa species native to South America. There are many species of this reptile, but the most common of these is the green anaconda.

The green anaconda can reach 17.1 ft long. More typical mature specimens reportedly can range up to 16.4 ft, with the females, at around a mean length of 15.1 ft, being much larger in adulthood than the male. Weights are less well studied, though will reportedly range from 66 to 154 lb in an average range adult.

Green anacondas are the heaviest, and largest, type of snake in the world, but only the second longest (the longest type of snake is the reticulated python).

They are hunted by men for their expensive skin as the demand of anaconda skin is very high in the fashion industry.

 

Yellow-Spotted Amazon Turtle

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Yellow-Spotted Amazon turtle post

The Yellow-spotted river turtle or Yellow-spotted Amazon river turtle is one of the largest species of South American river turtles.

This turtle can grow up to 18 inches and weigh up to 18 pounds. Females can be up to twice the size of males. They can live more than 30 years in captivity.
Their shell is black or brown with yellow spots on the side of its head. This turtle inhabits rivers, flooded forests or floodplain lakes. Its diet is based mainly on fruits, weeds, fish, and small invertebrates.

The females lay two clutches of eggs each year, each with 4 to 35 eggs in it. Eggs are laid during the peak of the dry season so that they are not washed away with the floods of the rainy season.

Fun Facts!

The yellow spotted Amazon turtle is a type of side-necked turtle, so called because they do not pull their heads directly into their shell, but rather bend the neck sideways to tuck the head under the rim of the shell.

Komodo Dragon

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komodo-dragon-npe-blog

Did you know? Komodo dragons are one of the largest living lizards in the world. They have good vision and can see objects as far away as 985 feet, according to the Smithsonian Zoo. These scavengers have saliva laden with really deadly bacteria, and their bites containing the spit were potent enough to bring down a water buffalo!

Also, the Komodo Dragon is now regarded as venomous. The saliva is bacteria laden but is also a very complex mixture of proteins and enzymes.

The very best included: Explora Hotel Patagonia

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The award winning Explora Hotel Patagonia is the only property located right at the heart of Torres del Paine National Park. This is why we selected this all-inclusive and upscale property to spend 4-nights during the Epic Patagonia Expedition. You can’t beat its location, services and vistas. Check the view from your room! (We guarantee mountain view rooms). Any other hotel will force lengthy drives every day to explore Torres del Paine National Park.

About the Expedition:

The Epic Patagonia Expedition explores Easter Island (Pre Extension), crosses Tierra del Fuego to encounter King Penguins and interact with Gauchos, navigates to Cape Horn through the Beagle Channel, Darwin Range and the Straight of Magellan before reaching Torres del Paine, the most beautiful place on Earth (4 nights at Explora Hotel Patagonia). It then continues to Perito Moreno, the most active glacier of the world. All this at an unbeatable price while escorted by a true Senior Leader with more than 100 expeditions in Patagonia. Departs in March, the month with the best weather, the ideal amount of daylight hours and perfect colors for photography.  Don’t miss it. Only 12 participants. Call us now at 888 832 7280.